2009-10-07: Money Can't Buy You Love



Date: October 7, 2009


Gene returns home to the woman that wanted him dead yet lives in his house and lets him rest his head on her lap. It's complicated.

"Money Can't Buy You Love"

Gene's Overpriced Digs - New York City

Lounging on the couch, Gwen leafs through a fashion magazine. The apartment she shares with Gene is a stylish apartment on Park Avenue uptown. It's a large tasteful pre-war building that has been through a lot of modernization. Stylishly outfitted, it's not outlandish but definitely looks expensive. Surprisingly, Gwen has a very good sense of taste. Plus, the kitchen is perfectly outfitted for baking - which is something that the blonde loves to do on her off-time. Which is quite frequent lately. She stifles a yawn with her hand and then flips another page.

"Gwen, I'm home!" Gene announces in a slightly quieter Fred Flintstone impersonation, wearing the business shirt and slacks that were laid out for him. It's not the jeans and t-shirt he's used to, but it's what he's 'supposed' to wear to work according to some, even if his boss Jaden said he could wear whatever he wants as long as Gene keeps making him money. He sets down his Star Wars messenger bag, one of the few items that Gene has kept with him. Most of the other geeky items have been smuggled away into storage, fearing Gwen purging them on her own time.

Looking around for his …. Looking for Gwen, the young man offers a wave as he moves into the living room. "Hey, Gwen, have a nice day?" he offers with a tired, but sincere smile.

Oh, right. The whole relationship thing. Gwen's still not really sure what she's doing here or what it is that Gene wants from her. She's used to being paid to pretend to be a special person in a man's life for an hour or two, but this whole being in a relationship thing is strange. She's done it a few times - mostly when millions are involved - but now she glances up at this young man and eyes him. "Hi there, honey." It's a neutral sort of greeting, as she doesn't actually get up to greet him really. "It was a day." Then, sitting up, she eyes him. "What exactly do want here, Gene?" It's been a little while so she feels like it should be brought up.

Oh crap, this talk is coming up again. There isn't even drinking involved this time around. Mentally wincing that he didn't keep spare jewelry on hand for bribery, Gene moves over toward the couch as he sits on the chair across from her. "I thought 'social consultant' said it all. At first, I just wanted someone to keep me company until I died. You know, when I was all sick and we first met?" The period of time Gene offered Gwen hundreds of dollars an hour to let Gene settle his head in her lap and while she stroked his hair.

"…Then I did that whole amazing miracle thing where I recovered and I didn't give you all that money in the will." The thing Gene refuses to talk about in detail. Ever.

"That's when I asked for your help to teach me how to dress, how to speak to women, how to lie if I need to, what stuff to have in a house that you live in with me, go with me to social functions and keep me from looking stupid, and whenever you wanted, to cook and for us to go out. In exchange, I try and do stuff to make you happy and not move out?" The last part is uncertain and almost desperate, clearly expecting a demand or an explanation on how things need to change.

"Yeah, I'm still pretty pissed off about that, you know." The whole not getting any money in the will thing. Nothing against Gene or anything, he seems like a fine little man, but he's not a fortune lying in wait. Flipping her her magazine closed, this is about as close to her full attention that he'll get today. Or maybe all month. If Gene is trying to learn how to please a woman from Gwen, well, that's kind of a problem as Gwen is probably the most high maintenance woman in the world. "And, darling, by now I don't know what else you need to know. I'm normally just the arm candy. If I wanted to teach anything, I'd have pretended to be a teacher. And not just in the naughty professor way."

"And you're just happy being just the arm candy?" Gene says, his eyes training on hers. Or trying to. While he heard that stuff before when they had talked at the beginning, he didn't think it would go on. Every time he hears it, it's like it is somehow more of a shock. While Gene likely chose the worst person to try be some bizarre mix of mom and causal girlfriend, it would be a temporary thing until he died. Leave it to Gwen to make Gene almost wish he hadn't sought out his salvation. "I mean, I figured a little stability would be something a woman like yourself wanted to. In twenty years, do you really want to be doing the same stuff you were before we met?"

"Just arm candy?" Gwen sounds actually insulted by that. "There's nothing just about it. It's a very complicated and exact progress to act just bored enough to make someone pay attention to you and then interested enough in whatever boring thing they're talking about to think you're still involved somehow." If there was anyone that out there that was perfect for making someone not want to be part of a miraculous recovery, it would be Gwen. "But, that's not the issue here, Gene." Somehow, despite all her best intentions, some of Gene's own thinking and speech patterns have inserted themselves into Gwen's mouth. It seems a little funny coming from her. "If I wanted stability, I'd have married a divorce lawyer. Everyone needs a good divorce here and there. Look, if you just want to keep me around to make you look more prestigious, hey, who am I to argue? I'm just trying to figure out where I stand here."

This has happened before. Gwen has explained arm candy. THIS TIME, Gene decides, he will figure out the logic behind it. He gets a firm face, wearing it until Gwen changes the topic. Hopefully, he accidentally won't bring up arm candy… He still doesn't understand it. Getting someone to pay attention to you by being bored and then being involved? Do all women act like this?

Of course, Gwen gives Gene a lot more to chew on. "Divorce lawyer? A good divorce? But, what about finding love… Sticking through the hard times and despite personal differences, able to change into people that work as one?" Gene fears the answer. "I thought you were here to try and help me be a better person…. Not just feel like a better person. I figured I could help you be a better person too. I guess you just need more time to understand that," Gene states with a weak smile.

The whole new age crap. Gwen sighs and studies Gene. She's older and therefore should feel some sort of motherly, take this poor boy under her wing sort of feeling toward him. However, in a case such as this, she merely feels like she should tell him how it all goes. Or, how it all goes according to Gwen. "That love you see in the movies? That's something that they invented, sweetie, to make us buy more things and feel unsatisfied so that we'll buy even more. It doesn't exist. There's a reason why half the marriages fail. They think they're out for the earth moving love of a lifetime and never realize there is such a thing. Everybody is one person and two people are two people. Love ain't gonna change that."

Giving Gene something of a 'you poor boy' smile she pats the seat by the couch and pushes over a plate of cookies she made for herself. She can share, this place is - after all - his. "Things are already good. And I'm offended that you think that I need be shaped into a better person. I think you're the one that needs to understand that this is all there is, sweetheart. Either it breaks your heart, or you just keep going. Now, have a chocolate chip cookie. There's milk in the fridge."

"Marriages fail because people choose something over their spouse. I'm not saying that it is always wrong, Gwen… It needs to happen for a lot of people. But for a lot of people, if they just tried to be less selfish, they could find something better. That by being selfless, you get something back. Something…" Gene sighs and doesn't finish, clearly figuring this a lost cause. His last attempts at love didn't work out too well. This sure as heck isn't working out too well.

The young man gets up before he moves toward Gwen, setting down on the couch. He eats a cookie in silence before he states the obvious and expected, "It's good… Thanks, Gwen." He looks to the fridge, clearly wanting the milk, but he doesn't get it. Instead, he just leans forward in his seat some. "I don't think you need to be shaped. Assuming I can make you into anything would just be selfish and wrong. I can't force you to do anything. I just want to show you that there is more to life, that's all. After all, I tried to save you once, even before I hired you."

With a raised eyebrow, Gwen just shows Gene what she thinks about the idea of needing to be saved. "Heros are people who have too much time on their hands and an over-inflated sense of ego. People who think their life is better than anything else out there. Trying to save someone is telling them their life is no good." And for some people it may not be. But why make that judgment call. Gwen is not normally anyone who can be changed. Not yet, any way. Whether it's a lost cause or one that just needs to be pounded out more is up for debate. For now, though, Gwen plays the dutiful woman and gets up to pour a glass of milk for the young genius. This isn't a relationship for her - this is a transaction. You don't hire longterm girlfriends in her mind. "I'm not a hunk of cookie dough, Gene-y. No shaping or cutting out needed."

"Considering I almost got slashed to death after hailing some police and trying to fend off a guy that was threatening to KILL YOU, I'd think being a hero is the other way around. Understand that your life only goes so far and the investments that count in life are in people." There is a pause as Gene remembers his reward from Gwen that night. How so many other attempts to help go for Gene. While distant, his tone that sad as much as faintly disappointed. "Even if they hurt you."

Pausing at the refrigerator door, Gwen pulls out the milk but turns around and leans against the cool metal of the door without pouring it. "Even if they /hurt/ me? Who's gonna hurt me?" That's not something a narcissist likes to hear. "Honey-bear, of course I appreciate you facing death to save me." Because, in her mind her life is the most important thing there is. That she's found so far, that is. "What I'm trying to say is that people are no good most of the time, and the other parts they're too damaged to thank you properly. So, don't even think about them. You pay me to help you look after yourself, not everybody else on the street. Now, why don't we pour some of this milk and forget all about unpleasantness. You tell me about your day, I'll tell you about mine, we'll just move right on by it."

"Sounds good, beautiful…" Gene replies as her answer is enough to temporarily put the conversation on hold. Again. He settles back into the couch, waiting for Gwen to come and comfort him. He states at the cookies, the furniture, his designer clothes? Will they keep her here? Even if she is the worst person around, for a year, she's been the only sort of stable support. So, he'll keep paying the bill, until it just gets too expensive to pay.

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